For probably about 10ish years now I’ve had a tote that hold all of my “important” childhood keepsakes. Such as the blanket I carried around so much it’s just pieces crocheted back together or photo albums or my very first cast from when I was two. Going through the paper portion of my keepsakes I found a letter that I had written junior year to my senior self.
I was curious to see if anything still holds up so I took it out and read it. I began reading and almost immediately not a single thing is the same. Only one constant remains and that’s my boyfriend. Everything else has changed immensely since then.
I had written that senior year I’d wanna have a good start on college classes and continue pursuing a degree in wildlife and fisheries biology. My long term goals were to go to and graduate from Lake Superior state, work with the DNR, and create a life with my boyfriend.
Since then I went above and beyond even what I thought I was capable of as far as schooling. I graduated high school with over a 3.5 gpa, my MEMCA certificate, and an associates from Delta. And now I’ve transferred to Ferris and in this week I can officially say I completed my first semester as a bulldog.
Not only did my schooling plan change, for the better even, but my career path. I have now worked for a construction company for over a year and love it and just had an interview for a summer internship which I never expected.
Then there’s my boyfriend Eric. He’s been by my side through all of it. All of my crazy ideas and dreams. Supporting me through it all whichever road I take and how I get there.
The thing is in the here and now, especially being exam week, my life has been chaos for the last 16 weeks juggling school, work, 4 hunting seasons, fall salmon run, and a boyfriend. Sometimes I forget to step back and remember the reason I’m doing all of it.
It’s to give myself a life I can enjoy. That I can grow a family and continue the traditions and legacies my family and family friends have given me. That I can just stand still one day and be proud. That I can walk through those golden gates knowing I lived my best life and have no regrets. That I can sit back and just breathe.
After I graduate college, begin a successful career, buy a house, start a family one day I will be able to look back and see how days like these all came together to create an amazing life.
My life sure has changed even since I wrote this letter to myself junior year. Some things I wish I could change and others I wouldn’t change for the world. But I know no matter what I’m leading a life to be proud of.
As this Friday approaches, December 13th, it will be the 7th anniversary of my dads unexpected death. It will also be the official end of my first semester at Ferris during my first semester of my construction management program.
With all that I’ve listed that has happened I wish my dad was here to see every single second of it. Every. Single. One. But on the same day my dad died 7 years later I’m there. And by there I mean living a life I love. Living a life I’m proud of. Living my best life and one my dad is proud of. My heart aches even just thinking about what he’s missed and will miss. But that feeling soon turns to more fire within me. To drive me.
In 7 years it hasn’t gotten easier by any means. You just learn to continue on with life. Live a life you know they’d want you to. It’s ok to miss them. I lost 7 very important people in my life in the span of 7 years. I miss every. Single. One. Everyday.
I have home videos on my phone just so I can hear my dads voice when I need it. I have to listen to heartlands song “I loved her first” on replay some days. Sometimes they make me cry. Sometimes they make me laugh. But at the end of it all I take a deep breath. Look up to the sky and know that I’m there and they’re all in my heart with me everyday.
When it all seems too much and overwhelming. Take a deep breath. And remember the reason behind what you’re doing. It’s all part of a bigger plan. Whether it be a career change, school, or just another day at work. It shapes you into you. Just remember in the now may seem chaotic and impossible to get through one day you’ll look back and it’ll all come together. One day you’ll be able to sit back, take a deep breath, and simply take in the life you’ve created. Whether that be in 2 hours, 2 weeks, or two years. There’s something to be said about what you’ve accomplished up to this point.
There will be good times and bad times. But the bad times never stay forever and the good times always follow.